Getting ‘Faded’ with Alan Walker: Interview
All it takes is one song.
Alan Walker knows something about that: at just 18 years old, the Norwegian producer, graphic designer and programmer has quickly shot to superstardom in the electronic world and beyond with his monster of a tune, "Faded" — a smash hit nearly two years in the making.
The track, which currently boasts over 225 million views on YouTube since being uploaded a little over four months ago, quickly swept the charts globally, hitting Top 10 in the UK and landing at No. 1 in about two dozen other territories. (The US, as per usual, is the last one to get the memo.)
And to think: this all started as an instrumental Walker produced on his laptop and released two years prior to the delight of his gaming friends. It's safe to say he's made a few more fans since then.
To celebrate the release of his new "Faded" remix EP today (April 29), which includes fresh takes by powerhouse acts like Tiesto and Dash Berlin, We talked to Walker about the history of "Faded," the fame that's come as a result of the track's success, and where he's heading in the very near future.
"Faded" is huge, and the track has had a pretty long history. How did the song come to be what it is today since "Fade," and how did you find the vocalist?
The track started off as a tropical house track, but later on I added an electro house drop. That was pretty much the beginning of "Fade." I found out that it didn’t work as a tropical house + electro house track, so I decided to make it a complete electro track. This is where I got inspired by Ahrix’s track “Nova” and K-391’s melodic style, which helped me put together the sounds and melodies.
Later on when I signed with Sony, we wanted to re-release "Fade" as "Faded" with a brand new mix and with vocals by Iselin Solheim. I think Iselin was the first person who sung demo vocals for "Faded." And it worked out great! The way I got in touch with Iselin was through a guy that I work with in the studio.
Your X-Games Oslo performance was seriously awesome. What was that experience like?
Getting to perform at X Games Oslo was crazy! I never thought that I would ever perform for an audience of 15,000 people.
What's changed for you since the song has taken off?
The biggest thing that has changed for me is that I left school in January. This has helped me a lot to be able to focus on producing new music to be released during 2016, and I can’t wait to show it to the world.
You seem to keep a guarded image on Instagram. (We love the logo hoodie that's always facing the screen, by the way.) Are you wary of fame/becoming a celebrity?
Not really, but my main objective since I started uploading my music to the Internet back in 2012 has never been to become famous for it. And this way people don’t recognize me on the streets and stuff which, I have to admit, for the time being is a good thing for me.
You're about to release a remix EP. Any favorite remixes at the moment?
To be fair, I like all the remixes and there also are many remixes out there being uploaded daily. I do sometimes take time to search around to hear the different remixes and its cool to find remixes with different styles, like anything from rap to future house.
What producers are you currently loving?
I like anything that is melodic and I’m a very big fan of movie soundtracks, so my favorite artists/producers would be Steve Jablonsky, Hans Zimmer, K-391, Ahrix, KSHMR and many, many more.
You are working on some productions of your own. Who are you working with?
In the studio I have a team consisting of three people, where we all work together and try to put together our ideas. It;s like a creative meeting. Right now I have a lot of new projects and productions going on, and I am also working on some new tracks with a producer from Estonia, and one from Spain.
Who are the artists that inspire you? What other genres of music outside of the electronic world do you like?
My music is influenced by Ahrix, K-391 and movie soundtracks.
What's next for you musically?
My goal for me musically is to release more music and get going on my tour in Europe.
You're still so young! Do you have any other ambitions or passions outside of music?
In my spare time I spend much time hanging out with my friends, or just stay home gaming or do graphic design. Graphic design is a hobby that I started with back in 2010-2011, which I am still doing today. And because of that, I was able to design my own stuff and designed my own logo.
What's something you can tell us about yourself that we would probably never know without chatting with you?
I would say that I love food, I’m a little into sports, so I do skateboarding and sometimes play football. I love to travel and get to see the world. I’m really happy with the fact that I have the chance to travel through Europe this summer.
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